HPB activates partnership with Fitbit to push ‘Live Healthy SG’

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) in Singapore is collaborating with global wearables brand Fitbit for an initiative titled “Live Healthy SG”. The initiative was uniquely designed for Singapore by both parties to harness technology and analytics to drive “meaningful and sustained behaviour change”, said Fitbit a press release.

Fitbit was identified through a competitive call for collaboration and various levels of evaluation. According to Fitbit’s release, “it was chosen for the company’s ability to drive behaviour change and health outcomes.” The partnership marks Fitbit’s first major integration of a digital health platform and wearables into a national public health programme globally. Live Healthy SG will engage people of all ages and levels of health using Fitbit devices and its new Premium service, which is launching to consumers in select markets around the world over the next few months.

The initiative will also leverage Fitbit’s software and services, including programmes, guidance and individual one-to-one health coaching that will be offered through its new Premium service. Participants will receive a “dynamic and personalised experience”, helping to motivate them to adopt healthier habits and achieve better outcomes in the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional well-being.

Health Promotion Board CEO Zee Yoong Kang said participants will benefit from Fitbit’s plans to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and better sleep quality. “We intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalised health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health,” he added.

Meanwhile, HPB will support Fitbit in encouraging participation in its programme through its outreach channels. When participants sign on to the programme, there will also be a consent process to indicate if they agree to share their data during the programme with the HPB. Such data will, in turn, provide insights and contribute to more health promotion programme.

Fitbit cofounder and CEO James Park said: “Our partnership with the HPB is a recognition of our work to date, and we are confident that the powerful combination of our devices, software and services will motivate Singaporeans to improve their health, while also tangibly helping a nation to improve health at scale.” Adding on, he said that he looks forward to seeing other countries follow “a similar blueprint” to improve the health of their people.

Live Healthy SG builds on Singapore’s Smart Nation efforts to transform key sectors of society, including healthcare, through innovative technology. Singaporeans will be able to pre-register for Live Healthy SG starting mid-September, and the programme will officially go live in late October 2019. In addition to driving positive lifestyle changes in individuals, the programme will serve as a resource that provides detailed population insights to inform future health programmes. This enables the HPB to explore other opportunities in precision public health, providing interventions to the right population at the right time.

This is not the first time HPB has leveraged emerging technologies to roll out innovative nationwide programmes. In 2015, it started the annual “National Steps Challenge” aiming to get people to walk at least 10,000 steps daily. Commuters taking the underpass that connects Dhoby Ghaut station from SBS Transit’s North East Line to the North South Line were making music as they walk – literally. The passageway, which is next to the travellator, as well as a flight of stairs connecting the station to the Plaza Singapura shopping mall was transformed into interactive paths of lights and sound.